“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
Have you ever found it not too easy doing your cry in the rain? Have you been through mountain-top situations where you hallowed for help until you got exhausted with no help in sight? Ever been at a crossroad and you couldn’t ‘take it as a man? ‘Pain is not sweet.
The journey of life has a lot of ups and downs, and it does not need your permission before you are given your own dose of it. How can difficult situations have lessons in them! Do not tell me, it is ok dear, I know what you are going through…you don’t know until you have been through it.
Ruth was a Moabite woman married to one of the sons of Naomi, an Israelite- a Hebrew, a seed of Abraham. Having been married, after awhile she lost her husband. This was a tragedy. She was at his bedside at the hospital, holding unto hope and a breakthrough, because she had heard about the great wonders of the God of the Hebrews, ‘My husband will not die, he will live’…she must have confessed. Yet he died, making her a widow at young age.
Where will she go from here? She left her people, joined to a man, and then she lost him. Many times, we embark on a journey with hope and assurance of a good end, and along the way a shift occurs. Do we say, God is unfair, or do we give up living?
Have you ever trekked that long laborious road of experience when your faith in God was tested and it felt like gall, where all that you ever believed was brought to the slaughter-it is either God or the devil? ‘Curse God and die’, that type of a situation that Job found himself- lost everything you hold dear and close to your heart in one day and the very ones who are your intimate, close, confidants say those cold words to you!
Tragedy Street is not an enviable place to live in. The rush of pain, blame and rejection that parade that lane is only left to the imagination. What would Ruth do, or what should she have done? Married off, married away perhaps with no child to show for it, she could not return home to her people. She was driven by the commitment of marriage-the fraternity of the holy matrimony, the sacredness of everlasting love, the pledge of fidelity to the one with whom she had become one in body, soul and the spirit.
This not so cute story of pain and tragedy reaches a boiling point and Ruth makes a resolve that will forever be reiterated, ‘Entreat me not to leave you’, she said to her mother in-law, Naomi, who had earlier indicated that she had nothing more, nothing extra to offer. ‘Your God will be my God, your people, my people’. Her pain created an everlasting reward and compensation that only God could give.
As much we have been given wonderful promises in the Word of God, and also we have hope to have a glorious end, we should never seize to embrace the joy that comes in our trials. The trials and difficult times we go through, is allowed to bring us to a place of maturity and growth. It is not to destroy us, or keep us in a place of despair. It is the platform for us to accelerate.
How do you handle your trials? Do you quit or grumble, complain and murmur? Do you feel life is unfair to you? Ruth had her losses, she embraced to forge ahead by establishing a relationship with her mother-in-law on a deeper level, and she went beyond mourning her husband to being a source of strength and anchor to her. She looked beyond her pains, and saw a future ahead.
The shift in her mind-set is something every one of us should learn to embrace. No matter what life throws at you, look at the opportunity in your pain and tragedy. There is no way she would have gone on a journey with her mother in-law if her husband was alive. His death took her on a whole new journey of discovery, which at the end turned her mourning into dancing.
The trials are birthing a greater opportunity for you, and aligning you to a place of victory and restoration. Do not end your life’s dreams, because of the trials you are facing. It’s time to explore new opportunities and to break out.